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						Lögberg-Heimskringla • Föstudagur 8. apríl 2005 • 9
anvil, hammering and molding
metal to make the necessary
machinery repairs and even
creating handmade tools.
Two local farmers, Paul
Eyolfson and Sigurdur Bjarna-
son, built a kiln into the side of
Mountain Coulee in an attempt
to produce bricks from the
limestone near Big Quill. That
venture was never a business
success because the area did
not have the right kind of wood
to give the great heat which
was needed.
The farming method was
always mixed farming. In their
homeland, they had learned the
care and love of animals but to
produce grains off such a large
acreage was a new experience
indeed. There were some who
left the challenge of farming
and ventured into business in
the nearby villages.
To name a few, John Thor-
steinson moved to operate the
Dreamland Theatre in Wyn-
yard, Halli Axdal moved on to
be a grain buyer and later man-
ager of the telephone exchange
and Fred Thorfinnson went into
the hardware business.
They took time to rejoice.
They celebrated the 2nd of
August with the other people
from the other districts in the
lakes' area. We are indebted
to the late Oscar Johnson, who
grew up at Mountain, ND, who
wrote an account of the origin
of that August Icelandic cel-
ebration for our local history
book Reflections by the Quills.
School Christmas concerts
brought people  together and
No. 1548
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iEYVl                                                   ,OÍV &
ITIÉS                             -^l
,ö  rHE UNJL ftl                WHAT
The memorial plaque on a cairn placed at Mountain School.
highlighted the student perfor-
mances. Never to be forgotten
was the deep love of literature
— food for the soul, the sagas
and poetry — especially poetry
and music!
Their way of life passed on
to their young and was shared
by other cultures, and as early
as 1910 the little settlement
had welcomed others with dif-
ferent heritages.
In the little school, grades
one to eight were always taught
and later grades nine and ten
could be obtained by corre-
spondence. For those who hád
the desire and also the oppor-
tunity, high school education
was available in Wynyard.
Advanced education presented
new opportunities for many
and as those young people fol-
lowed their dreams, some left
the farm.
Many former students
made notable strong contribu-
tions beyond the Lakes Settle-
An early .student, Sigga
Houston- (Christianson), be-
came  a  medical  doctor  and
worked in that profession for
50 years. Ray Thorsteinson
received his doctorate in geol-
ogy, became head of the Arctic
Islands section of the Geologi-
cal Survey of Canada and re-
ceived many awards in Canada
and beyond for his contribu-
tion to discovery and science.
Gustaf Krisjanson had a career
with the CBC, which included
eleven years as a radio drama
producer in Winnipeg. I smile
when I think that they had their
beginnings on the world stage
at the Christmas concerts in the
rural school.
Those who served in the
World Wars are forever re-
membered as are those who re-
mained to produce food for the
world. Each in their own way
made positive contributions to
the settlement and beyond.
In 1988 there was a spe-
cial occasion in the Mountain
schoolyard when descendants
of the settlers, newcomers,
past teachers and friends of
the community gathered for an
evening program highlighting
the unveiling of a cairn which
had been erected there by the
Quill Historical Society.
Children placed wildflow-
ers at the base of the cairn
while on its top the original
school bell had the place of
honour. There to ring the bell
was pioneer teacher Elizabeth
Johnson (Josephson). A short
program followed. Before the
unveiling, three minutes of
silence were observed for all
members of Mountain District
who had passed away. It was
unbelievable that on a nearby
highway, which sees more than
2,000 vehicles a day, there was
silence except for the sounds of
Stan Thorsteinson, who
lives nearby is the unofficial
"keeper" of the school and is
the surviving board member
of the Mountain District Club
formed in 1961. Every July 1,
he hoists the Canadian flag and
it is joined by the Icelandic flag
on every 2nd of August — al-
ways a beautiful sight in the
Big Sky Country.
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